As they crested a particularly large hill, the land suddenly spread out below into a flat, wide field. It was surrounded by a tall wrought iron fence which stretched along to meet twin strips of woods. The field enclosed by the woods and fence was peppered with innumerable tombstones and monuments.“A graveyard?” Al commented.
“Yes, we have to cut through here. It’s the quickest way to get to the Fountain,” Blue explained, slinking through the bars of the fence.“Isn’t this supposed to be bad luck?” Al asked, pushing the gate open carefully.
“Not as long as you mind the tenants.”“The what?” Al asked, stopping mid-step as if he was about to step on a fire ant’s mound. “What do you mean by that?”
“Well would you like someone to walk on your stomach?”Al muttered something to himself and started to follow Blue more closely amongst the large crosses and kind faced angels. As they passed the smaller statues of frolicking cherubs and children playing with frogs, Al was surprised to see a girl sitting on one of the tombstones.
“Hey, Blue,” he whispered. “There’s someone over there.”“I saw her.”
“But what—”“Hello there,” the girl said to Al.
Al’s mouth opened and closed a few times of its own volition.“Well answer her, don’t be rude,” Blue snapped.
“Hi,” Al said uncertainly, giving the girl a small wave.“Oh, hey, you’re the Source, ain’t’cha?” She had a twanging Southern accent and poppy red hair.
“He is, but I’m afraid we’re in a hurry,” Blue explained quickly.“So what’s it like traveling around with a stuffy old cat?”
“It’s not so bad,” Al said, wandering over to her.“Is it nice out there? Outside the graveyard?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”“I can’t leave this place,” she said sadly.
“Al… ”“Why not?” he asked, ignoring Blue.
“Ghosts aren’t allowed to leave the graveyard. We’re not spiritual enough.”“Sp—spiritual?” Al stammered, uneasy after hearing the ghost part.
“Well the logic goes that ghosts are beings who can’t go to an afterlife because they aren’t spiritual. We can’t cross holy barriers and, unfortunately for me, the only way out of here is through a blessed gate.”“That’s too bad,” Al said sincerely.
“Yeah, I can only leave if I get something blessed, somehow.”“Al, I think we’d better go,” Blue said somewhat urgently.
“Oh, where’re y’all goin’?” she asked, hopping off the tombstone.
“The Fountain of Knowledge,” Blue replied curtly. “The sooner, the better,” he added, looking at Al.